WORKSHOP WITH MICHAEL HOEPFNER, AUSTRIA
Walking can be understood as a way to get in touch with our environment and our body. Urban architecture, nature or wilderness make us move differently. Art picks up these daily routines, questions the way we live and deal with our environment.
A 2-day walk from the urban center of Bishkek south to the foot of the mountains resulted in an installation that reflects the experiences of the step by step movements of a group of 15 students of Chuikov Art School and young artists from Bishkek and Austrian artist Michael Hoepfner.
STEP, TWO, THREE
Exhibition held as a result of two-day walking with Michael Hoepfner
Project supported by the Special Projects Fund of Karen Davidov and Henry Myerberg
To walk is the most simple way to explore our environment. It is a practice in everyday life: we walk to our office, to the supermarket or to meet a friend; mostly we do this without reflecting on where we are, we look out for traffic, or at shop-windows.
For visual artists, walking was since early modernity a strategy to get out of the studio, the Art Academy, into life on the street, to experience the new modern city; but also to run away from it all, get into nature and look at one mountain - like Cezanne did.
If artists walk out it sometimes means anarchy like the Surrealists or political protest like the Situationists; in Land Art around 1970 artists the first time used walks to leave the city as a concept to get in touch with nature again -it was the time of the early environmental movement.
In the last twenty years or so to walk out and get in direct contact with reality completely changed through the everyday use of modern media and information: if you want to get information about a street everyone uses Google Streetview or online maps, or other forms of information; they guide us, we look at it on a screen in our homes; but what do they tell us about a certain place? What is the meaning of place, of site in our times? What is the meaning of movement of the body, in a street, on a track, a path, in a landscape? What can this slow movement tell us?